The Authoritarian Personality Today

IV  It’s 2017, and the Rechstaffens have moved from the crazy Bay Area to the crazier Portland, where Fritz IV (J.J.) is doing well as head of an immigrants’ rights organization and Democratic Party activist.  He had worked hard for Bernie, but, when his candidate lost, he cheerfully rolled up his sleeves to work for the first woman that would be elected President of the Free World, the human race, and the entire universe.   He makes no bones about his loathing of all things Trump, and that is the one subject on which he and his former son, Fritz V, aka Moonsong F. Uhuru, heartily agree.

Moonsong is the head of the Portland chapter of Feminist Americans for Kaffir Equality (FAKE), an organization that promotes the rights of all despised minorities.  (Kaffir is an Arab term of contempt for blacks.)  Fritz V has not actually taken the final step of undergoing surgical alteration, but with hormone injections and a lot of makeup and tanning, he has made Moonsong one ugly black chick.

Not surprisingly, FAKE under Moonsong’s erratic leadership has not been a great success.  Some feminists challenge his/her right to hold a leadership position in the movement, and, after he/she was outed as a white person by the ultra-rightwing San Francisco Chronicle, the NAACP has cut its ties.  Moonsong, realizing that FAKE needs an injection of cash and some good advice, inevitably turns to her father, even though he has become a reactionary bigot

The open-minded J.J. does not object to jumping from one sex to another, but he draws the line at race-jumping.  It seems somehow insulting to African Americans who have suffered so much for the accident of skin color.  He wants to help the revolution, that goes without saying, but he is not sure that Moonsong is not just an extremist kook—what Lenin would have described as a Left Communist.

“Don’t you really think, son, that it hurts your cause, when a white male pretends to be a black female?”

“I always knew you were a conservative, way down deep, a true conformist, but can’t you see that times have changed?”

“I don’t see you getting anywhere with FAKE.  In fact, your shenanigans are making it more difficult to raise money and get press attention for legitimate progressive groups.”

“Progressive!  What progress have you people made?  All you and your types have done is change some of the personnel of the ruling class.  For your father and his father, the ruling class was rich white men, with a few cisgender females thrown in for window dressing.  Today you you have blacks and Asians and Latinos it is true, and some gays and a few transgenders, but don’t you see that they are all defined by some imaginary “nature”?  What does it matter if a gay black man joins the ruling class, if it is his natural race and gender that give him his access to power?”

“So you are saying that it is not the system that has to be overturned?”

“The system.  OMG, you sound like a hippie. ‘It’s the system, man!’  What you have never understood is that there will always be a system, so long as the bitch goddess Nature has her way.  Lenin and Stalin and Mao must have killed 150 million people, and in the end, they still had “the system.”  It didn’t matter that it was the Communist Party, and it doesn’t matter today that the System is run by a lot of people who used to be outsiders.

“But surely you’ll agree that the Revolution has made great strides.  In France, we destroyed the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the Church, and the Marxists stripped private property of its sanctity and human individuality of its dignity, the feminists ground down the pretensions of men..”

“There’s more than one kind of feminist.  Stupid feminists thought it was enough to strip men of their political and legal privileges, but smart feminists like Andrea Dworkin knew that it was not men who were the real enemy:  Men are merely pawns of the enemy, which is Nature, who dictates to each of us not just what we are supposed to do but who we are supposed to be. You’re always quoting Marx.  Have you never read what Marx wrote about human nature:  “Man is the creature that makes his own essence.”  Male bears have to be male bears, and female mice have to be female mice. But we have the power—really the duty—to decide, anytime in any manner, what we are.  If I get tired of being a black adult woman, I can become an Asian transgender child of six.”

“Does anyone actually believe this nonsense?”

“Look, daughter—see I can make you into anything I want to, also—look, when you were a student and crusading for minority rights, the ruling class didn’t agree with you.  You and your professors were members of an angry minority.  Now, everything you believe is old hat, and apart from a few fascist bigots in the churches, all your revolutionary projects have been accomplished.  How do you think that happened?”

“It’s human process.  With education, even the children of reactionaries begin to see the light.”

“No, sister, you are only half right.  Education is the key, that is right, but not because kids are taught some self-evident truths as if they were mathematical formulas.  Like nearly everyone, kids today are sheep who follow their shepherds, the same way you followed the shepherds—your high teachers and college professors, the news broadcasters and people who make documentaries for NETFLIX.  The Marxists were hung up on controlling the means of production, the feminists, Gays, and trannies were obsessed with taking power away from  straight males, but the key has always been to control the minds of the shepherds—most of them are just as plastic and gullible as the sheep.  If you teach the shepherds that the right thing to do is to drive the sheep over the cliff or turn the wolves into sheep and sheep into wolves, they’ll do it, and everyone will follow after them.  You’ve been around and you know some history.  By now you must have realized that no one but a tiny few—and I am one of them—ever thinks for himself, even for one minute.  They are all prisoners of one or another cult—Christianity or Islam, Marxism or feminism or transgenderism.  But what hardly anyone has grasped yet is that we now have the science and technology—and the will—to release us from all these bonds of expectation.  What is it those Christians used to say, ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’

“Yes, I agree with the principle, though they did not have a clue as to what the truth was or is…”

“No, you are wrong, just as they are wrong.  Their truth makes them slaves of the “god” they have made up.  I went to one of their churches.  No one believed anything, but the service was quite pretty.  I think they called it Anglican—it was very very traditional, you know, all smells and bells and lesbian clergy.  What I find  astonishing is that these people are so stupid they cannot learn even from their own tradition. m One of their prayers began, “O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom..” 

"Some Christians used to know,  once upon a time--as your beloved Mao knew that--throughout human history, ‘Freedom is the recognition of necessity.’    But true freedom, the freedom I represent, is freedom from necessity."

“But Marx didn’t believe in enslaving men and women..”

“You are still very naive.  Some Anglican clergyman--I think his name was Malloch-- got wise to the Marxists even before the Russian Revolution.  He looked at the way Marx ran his party and concluded that if Marxists ever came to power, they would be more ruthless than the worst tyrants in history.  Well, they did what they had to do, and I would do the same today.  If we could either kill or lock up everyone who even thought about voting for Trump, we could make rapid strides toward the world of true freedom, freedom from nature.  As for you and your pathetic political causes—immigrants and Muslims and God know what—you are not only yesterday’s paper:  You are standing in the way of the revolution.

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

10 Responses

  1. Avatar James D. says:

    Dr. Fleming, I can’t imagine that Moonsong would have conversed in the language of the oppressors. His part must have been a series of grunts and clicks.

  2. Avatar Khater M says:

    Dr. Fleming
    Part of what I love about your work is that it addresses the root of the problem. I see these people like Rush Limbaugh/Rod Dreher/Mark Levin who think that what we are facing is a “culture war” or just a political/judicial battle. One of the most important things I’ve learned from you is that the enemy is trying to change and/or destroy our very nature. Very few people address this these days. This is something I’d like to learn more about. Are there any books you’d recommend? Also, I wonder if you saw this.
    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/06/what-living-as-a-badger-taught-a-professor-about-being-human.html
    It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t serious. Very sad.

  3. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    Remember, he has good German American stock.

  4. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    Thanks, Khater. My first book, The Politics of Human Nature, takes up this subject in rather tedious detail (according to hostile readers). The beginning point is to understand human nature, rather than to study the movement to suppress it–which is the project of the social sciences, for the most part. E.O. Wilson’s books on sociobiology are a good place to begin, but this is the topic that has absorbed most of my adult life and is the subject of the series of books, whose chapters are being posted here in rough draft form.

  5. Avatar Khater M says:

    Dr. Fleming
    I just took a brief look at E. O Wilsons wki page, and I’ll consider ordering a few of his books. He’s no fan of religion though. Do you consider yourself a Darwinist? Don’t you think Darwinism comes into conflict with the Creation story? Many Darwinists these days seem to be very anti-Christian. I’m not saying I reject Darwinism entirely, but I am weary of it. (Especially in its modern form)

  6. Avatar Ian L. Flanders says:

    Tom Wolfe’s “Sorry but your Soul just died” points out several of the concerns with Wilson’s work. The big issue with Wilson’s understanding of human nature as I see it is that he appears to eliminate free will. But again, I’m not nearly as familiar with his work as Dr. Fleming is, and perhaps I’m missing quite a bit.

    Cleese also addresses the issue in “The Scientist at Work – Discovering the God gene.”

  7. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    Wilson is not a philosopher nor is he even much read in such subjects. His speciality is ants and termites, the behavior of social insects. His opinion on on free will, therefore, is of no more interest than, say, Saint Thomas’s view of insects. My approach to virtually every modern thinker is to ignore whatever in their thought is merely conventional–dictated by the spirit of the age and their profession–and to look at what is original, either bad or good. In EOW’s case, he followed the Darwinist logic to a conclusion that is very compatible with both common sense, ancient philosophy, and Christian revelation. As a result he was reviled, insulted, spat upon and doused with urine. That he failed to understand the implications for free will of his mechanistic thinking is, I think, a minor objection.

  8. Avatar Alexander Coleman says:

    Firstly this entire work is splendid.

    Secondly, branching out from the discussion Messrs. Khater M. and Ian I. Flanders were having with Dr. Fleming, it seems as though too few good Christians and sincere conservatives take the proper perspective when analyzing the findings or writings of Darwin, while at the same time almost all liberals, of both left and right persuasions, are these days avowed Darwinists. Just as it is prudent to tend to care for one’s environment while not engaging in the revolutionary movement of environmentalism, or find worth in the individual without becoming a Randian fetishist of individualism, so too is it right to acknowledge at least a fair number of legitimate scientific discoveries and mere theories from Darwin without becoming a “Darwinist” or finding oneself celebrating a “Darwinian” society, or “social Darwinism.”

    In any event, a local high school in the Bay Area is apparently preparing to allow students to “identify” as being sufficiently “disabled” so as to use parking stalls in the school parking lots legally designated for handicap placard-adorned vehicles. How such madness is ever to work one cannot say. Almost every day there is something new, something profoundly hideous and awful thought up by these crazy people.

  9. Avatar James D. says:

    Mr. Coleman, I left a comment a few weeks ago about a potential new frontier for the revolution: “transableism, “body integrity disorder,” or perfectly healthy people who “identify” as disabled. They are blinding themselves and sawing off limbs, so that they can live the disabled life that they feel they should be living. How brave.

  10. Avatar Alexander Coleman says:

    James D., it is remarkable how media and academia wings of the revolution are lionizing such pitiful specimens these days rather than admitting that these are deeply disturbed people engaging in self-destructive behavior.

    How brave indeed! Thank you for broaching “transableism.” It would seem the revolution will gift everyone who wishes to have the opportunity to be their own Dr. Frankenstein, operating on their own body. I recall reading a “right-wing” libertarian making the case for people to be allowed to saw their arms off and barbecue them to eat with salt and pepper as an early teenager and even when certain tenets of libertarianism seemed to make some sort of sense to my largely ignorant mind, such wanton craziness being sanctioned as a “right” made me recognize what sort of Pandora’s box had been opened.